1 January

Pick a Day

Music History Events: Posthumous Releases

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October 8, 2004 Ray Charles, who died in June, scores his first Platinum album when Genius Loves Company, released in September, sells over a million copies.

October 2, 2002 Return of the King: 25 years after his death, Elvis Presley has a #1 album in 17 countries - including the United States - when Elv1s 30 No. 1 Hits makes its debut.

March 18, 2001 Thanks to airplay on British radio, Eva Cassidy's album Songbird goes to #1 in the UK, five years after the singer's death.

March 25, 1997 Sixteen days after he was shot and killed, The Notorious B.I.G.'s second album, Life After Death, is released.More

July 30, 1996 Sublime's self-titled album is released. It's their major-label debut, and also their last, as lead singer Brad Nowell died of a heroin overdose two months earlier. The album goes on to sell over 5 million copies.More

December 27, 1986 "Reet Petite," a #6 UK hit for Jackie Wilson in 1957, goes to #1 29 years later when it is re-released, and stays at the top for four weeks. Wilson died three years earlier after being incapacitated by a heart attack.

December 29, 1973 Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle" hits #1 in the US three months after the singer was killed in a plane crash.

January 8, 1968 Stax Records releases Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" and Sam & Dave's "I Thank You." Both are very successful, but neither artist scores another hit (Redding had died about a month earlier).

October 12, 2009 Michael Jackson's from-the-vaults track "This Is It" is released as a promotional single to accompany the concert documentary of the same name. It's the first release since his death in June.More

November 7, 2006 Originally due in the summer of 2005, the last album from late Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard finally arrives. The release date for A Son Unique coincides with the two-year anniversary of ODB's death at a New York recording studio.

November 10, 2003 The paperback version of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain's Journals is released, sparking renewed interest in the dead rock star. A disorganized collection of his writings and drawings, the front cover warns, "if you read, you'll judge."

August 16, 2002 Twenty-five years after the death of Elvis Presley, an album containing 30 of his #1 hits is released with "A Little Less Conversation" as a bonus track - a remix of that one went to #1 UK in June.

November 25, 1997 2Pac's R U Still Down? (Remember Me) is released posthumously.

November 18, 1997 John Denver's last recording, The Unplugged Collection, is released.

March 4, 1996 The Beatles song "Real Love," compiled from a John Lennon demo recording, is released in the UK.

November 6, 1995 Queen release Made In Heaven, an album pieced together from recordings made before Freddie Mercury's 1991 death. It debuts at #1 in the UK.

March 20, 1971 Nearly six months after her death, Janis Joplin's "Me And Bobby McGee" hits #1 in the US for the first of two weeks. It is her only Top 10 hit.

July 18, 2020 Five months after his murder, the rapper Pop Smoke goes to #1 in the US with his debut album, Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon. 50 Cent, a mentor to Pop Smoke, helped complete the album.

December 3, 2016 Thanks to a spike in sales following his death, Leonard Cohen's original version of "Hallelujah" enters the Hot 100 at #59, giving Cohen his first entry on the chart.

July 29, 2016 Nearly six months after all four members of the British group Viola Beach were killed in a car accident, their self-titled debut album is released. It debuts at #1 in the UK.

May 9, 2014 Michael Jackson's second posthumous album, Xscape, is released.

November 13, 2012 RCA Records releases a greatest hits album to commemorate the late Whitney Houston, who died in February 2012. The album, titled I Will Always Love You - The Best of Whitney Houston, includes all 11 of her #1 Billboard charting hits.

December 10, 2010 Michael Jackson's first posthumous album, Michael, is released.

December 22, 2007 Eleven years after her death, Eva Cassidy goes to #1 in the UK with "What a Wonderful World," a duet blending her recording of the song with fresh vocals from Katie Melua.

November 18, 2002 The posthumous George Harrison album Brainwashed is released, his first since Cloud Nine in 1987. Harrison had been working on the album before his death; it was completed by his son Dhani.

October 10, 2002 Six months after Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes is killed in a car accident, TLC release their fourth album, 3D, which she worked on before her death.

February 19, 2002 Ten months after his death, Joey Ramone's only solo album, Don't Worry About Me, is released. He worked on it at the end of his life while battling lymphoma.

January 30, 1996 Eazy-E's posthumous album Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton is released. It debuts at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

January 6, 1996 Eazy-E's posthumous single "Just Tah Let U Know" hits #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

January 31, 1989 Two months after his death, Roy Orbison's album Mystery Girl is released. Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Bono and George Harrison all contributed to the album; the lead single, "You Got It," gives Orbison his first US Top 10 hit since 1964 with "(Oh) Pretty Woman."

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